Mid night hike to Ijen
blue fire at Ijen
Our next stop at Kawah Ijen is a very different volcano with the special attraction of blue fire that’s only visible in the darkness of the night. We stayed in Banyuwangi at the Ketapang Indah Hotel, which is a beach front hotel and probably one of the better hotel in this area with it’s huge well kept garden making it a good place to rest after your mid-night hike to Ijen. It took us about an hour to reach the Ijen Park where we meet up with our guides and porters before we start the 2-hour hike to reach the rim of the crater. As some parts of the 3 km hike is very steep at about 45 degrees it is better to come with a good pair of hiking shoes.
At the rim of the crater it will take you another 45 minutes to hike down to the bank of the turquoise-coloured crater lake. It’s best to have a small torchlight or headlamp as it’s very dark and you‘ll need to be careful walking down the rocky path to the lake edge to see close up of the electric-blue flame. You’ll need to be down at the crater before 5 am to the see the intense colour of the flame. It’s also advisable to bring along a good mask as the thick sulfuric acid smoke can be choking as the wind carry it towards you.
After sunrise we slowly hike back to the park and along the way you will meet many miners carrying basket loaded with large pieces of sulfur weighting up to 90 kilograms to the collection center down hill. At the park entrance we stop and have our pre-packed breakfast before heading back to our hotel to have our afternoon siesta.